Nights in the asylum by Carol Lefevre
If you believe that you will never need to seek asylum, think again. Catastrophe can turn a comfortable life inside out and leave any one of us stranded, dependent on the kindness of strangers, or vulnerable to their cruelty - as the characters in the sensuous and moving novel discover.
Set in a mining town in the Australian outback, Nights in the Asylum is the story of three people seeking shelter. Stricken with grief and guilt following the death of her daughter, Miri flees the city for the quiet calm of Havana Gardens, a once fine but now dilapidated mansion built for her grandmother. On the road, she rescues Aziz, an Afghan refugee on the run from detention; then, in the attic of the old house, Miri discovers Suzette Moran and her baby daughter hiding, and grants them refuge.
Slowly, in the hot confined spaces of the house, the three runaways unravel their stories, but when Suzette's policeman husband comes looking for her, it sparks a chain of events that will disrupt their already fragile peace.